OpenCivic distribution

The OpenCivic distro of Drupal is designed to support communities of software developers in creating, cataloguing and sharing software applications. It provides a platform for sharing information specifically about "civic software" used by governments and nonprofit organizations to provide public services. The main goal of this distro therefore is to help build websites that enable people to share information about software applications — what they do, who created them and uses them, where they have been deployed, and how well the software works. With funding support from the World Bank and other sponsors, it is intended for use by civic tech practitioners in international development contexts.

OpenCivic builds on work that began with the Code for America Commons, a “marketplace for open innovation in government” that tracks hunders of apps in nearly 300 cities. The CfA Commons was designed to serve as a community-edited resource that would help governments and other public service organizations make better use of scarce technology dollars by sharing technology information among governments and institutions.

In continuation of this sharing spirit, the World Bank used the codebase for the CfA Commons as the starting-point for a separate project that launched in December 2012 — a Sanitation Hackathon that brought together civic technologists for a marathon programming event that challenged programmers to develop innovative software solutions that addressed real-world problems in public sanitation. During the months leading up to the event, subject matter experts and members of the public created, submitted and voted on problem definitions that highlight specific sanitation challenges that could be mitigated by innovative information and communication technologies. Then, during a weekend-long marathon event, teams of programmers in cities around the world developed innovative solutions to these problem definitions.

Through the creation of the CfA Marketplace and the Sanitation Hackathon, we realized that hackathons and application catalogs could share information to create a virtuous circle of technology innovation. Hackathons are a natural way for programmers and civic problem-solvers to come together and share new ideas that lead to innovation. Some of those innovations succeed and become fully-realized software applications. Successful projects then need to be shared with others so that organizations working to improve community life can spend less time reinventing solutions to the same problems and more time sharing solutions as they become available.

Thanks to additional funding from the World Bank and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), this codebase has now been used as the basis for a Drupal distribution that has been used to build additional websites including:

xicore's picture

Continuing Development

I see that there is very little activity for this distribution. Is there a reason for this? Is this distribution no longer maintained or being developed?

Carlos Miranda Levy's picture

Any changes / patches to core? Advice request in upgrading core

Hi all.
We're considering this distro for our codecamp/hackathon next week in Port-au-Prince - but there is a new Drupal version out there and I was wondering if it was safe to upgrade core without affecting the distro.

Thanks for the great work.

jlmeredith's picture

Help4Ok Challenge - National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH)

2013-06-01 (All day) - 2013-06-02 (All day) America/New_York
Event type: 

Join people from all over the world June 1 and 2, 2013 for a national Hack for Change event.

Click Here to signup for regular updates!

In conjunction with RHOK Boston -
and the National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH), a team of passionate team members will come together and Hack for Good! Join us!

History and Goals
Connect people who need help with people who can give help.

Read more
Sheldon Rampton's picture

Alpha 2 release OpenCivic

I've just released OpenCivic 7.x-1.0-alpha2, fixing a couple of bugs that I discovered in the original alpha1 release. If you're interested in trying it out, the code is at

We'll be providing documentation soon explaining its features and how to get started building a site with it.

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